Friday, July 23, 2010

Two Notes on the Reproduction of P. molurus

Two articles published in Reptile Rap, The Newsletter of the South Asian Reptile Network,  No. 10, June 2010 describe aspects of Python molurus reproduction.

Ramesh, C. and S. Bhupathy. 2010. A report on the unusual body weight of a hatchling Python molurus molurus. Reptile Rap (10):22-23.

This article describes a mean body weight of 111.2 g for a clutch of eggs laid in Keoladeo National National Park. However, one hatchling found dead near the nest weighed 200 g and showed no signs of deformity. Upon dissection the hatchling was found to have a mass of fat along the gut that may have disrupted normal body functions.

Balakrishnam, P. et al. 2010. Artificial incubation, hatching and release of the Indian Rock Python Python molurus (Linneaus, 1758), in Nilambur, Kerala. Reptile Rap (10):24-27.

Balakrishnam et al. used an environment chamber to incubate a batch of P. molurus eggs that were abandoned by the female due to human disturbance. The clutch of 17 eggs were kept between 28-32C and a relative humidity of 70-90%. Only one of the eggs hatched, the other eggs were opened and found to contain well developed embryos. The authors report that a large number of pythons are caught in lowland Nilambur and are translocated by the Forestry Department, a significant number of females snakes are killed and their eggs are left. A regional education program is in place to help protect snakes.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Florida Burmese Pythons are Regulating Egg Temperatures

The first report of a female Burmese Python using shivering thermogenesis in the wild has been described by Snow et al. (2010). The researchers placed data loggers in and around the brooding female python and found the female snake both warmed and cooled her eggs by generating body heat and cooling them through insulation.

Snow, R. W. et al. 2010. Thermoregulation by a brooding Burmese Python (Python molurus bivittaus) in Florida. Southeastern Naturalist 9(2):403-405.